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Music Festival Round up

Sam Bertram

2 May 2019

A music festival is the perfect excuse to listen to great music, camp out, dress up and dance like no-one is watching. We’ve put together a list of Wiltshire’s best in 2019.   Avebury Rocks Music Festival – Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th June See performers in a field near to the famous standing stones of Avebury – all proceeds go towards supporting the care and services provided by local charity Prospect Hospice. Camping & day passes available. A taste of the Line-up: Showhawk Duo, Billy in the Lowground, Atari Pilot, Eric Walker, Platform 1, Strange Folk, The Shudders and more.   Manton Fest – Saturday 29th June – Marlborough A small one-day charity fundraising music festival held annually in the village of Manton in beautiful surroundings. Perfect if looking for a fun afternoon and evening out with the family. A taste of the line-up: Mercury, T.Rextasy, The Troggs, Barrelhouse, Clive Collective, Straight Six, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Skedaddle & more. Child friendly and under 7s go free.   Minety Festival – 5th to 7th July In its 3rd year it was shortlisted for the UK Festival Awards in the Best New Festival Category. Raising money for raise funds for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance, Naomi House & Jacksplace Hospice & Minety primary school and pre-school. A taste of the Line-up: Republica, Arcadia Roots, Erica, The Dirty Smooth, The Vooz, Revival, Aren E, North Wiltshire Rock Choir, Homer, Six O'Clock Circus Kid zone with free caving, Slacklining, bouncy castle, circus skills, inflatable slide & assault course as well as Grafitti workshops. New for 2019 is the Treehouse teen tent.   Once upon a time in the west – 12th to 14th July – nr Trowbridge and Westbury An extremely friendly small festival with the Djin Palace for late night dj'ing and gin and cocktails and Cider Sabbath on Sunday featuring many local ciders. More details are still to be released, It’s a great space for kids with a climbing wall for all ages, cardboard creations and trapeze skills. There's a quiet area for camping for families.  A taste of the line-up: Hum Fuzze, Funk and the Two Tone Baby, Zip Heads, Dave Acari, Soeur, The King Dukes, Dakka Skanks, Goldwater & more..     Larmer Tree festival- Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st July – Tollard Royal Known for its fabulous location and range of things to do with its outdoor theatre and international street eats. They’ve also been awarded the UK Festival Awards for ‘Best Family Festival’ and ‘Best Toilets’ by festival goers for the coolest, cleanest loos! As well as winning a Greener Festival Award to recognise the work they've put in to reduce their impact on the environment. They also offer some of the coolest boutique camping around. There's the 'Larmer Spa in the wilds' nestled deep in the woods complete with wood fired hot tub, therapists and gong bathing! A taste of the Line-up: Kate Tempest, The Cat Empire, Jack Savoretti, The Shires, KT Tunstall Gomez, Let's Eat Grandma, Go Go Penguin & more. Also watch out for the comedy, theatre talks, workshops, family stuff and cinema.    WOMAD – 25th to 28th July – Malmesbury A global fiesta of music, food, dance & art. Visit The World of Art, World of Children, World of Words, The Physics Pavilion, Taste the World or escape from festival craziness in the World of Wellbeing. Take a workshop – try anything from African drumming to acapella singing, from Beatboxing to Brazilian dance. There’s also a WOMAD spa. Camping & Glamping. A taste of the Line-up: Ziggy Marley, Macy Gray, Anna Calvi, Salif Keita, Orbital, Saving Grace Feat, Suzy Dian and Robert Plant        Festival on the farm, Purton – Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th August A small festival on an organic family farm. So while you can drink from the licensed bar you can counteract your alcohol intake with some lovely organic produce!  Children are welcome and under 10s go free. Paintball, face painters, Bouncy Castle, Rodeo Ride. Camping & day passes available. A taste of the line-up: Get Carter, The Berries, The Wurzels, Buswell Rulez, Rage against the regime, Pink Mac, Superseed, The Blind Lemon Blues band and more. A review: Superb little festival with amazing talents and friendly people...good vibes all round.     End of the road – 29th August to 1st September – Larmer Tree Gardens 'A truly special musical celebration' The Guardian. Best medium sized festival – UK festival Awards 2017.  An eco-friendly festival with Music, comedy & Literature. A taste of the Line-up: Beirut, Metronomy, Michael Kiwanuka, Spirtualized, Courtney Barnett, Jarvis Cocker, Sleaford Mods, Low, Deerhunter & more.   Fieldview, Cock and Bull and Boondocks festivals are all taking a rest for 2019.     

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Top Bluebell Spots

Sam Bertram

4 April 2019

Startling, bright colours are one of the wonders of nature and no more than the carpet of blue flowers in our woodlands in spring.   We asked around for people’s favourite bluebell spots in Wiltshire and it’s no surprise we got an overwhelming response. So here  are our recommendations from Wiltshire locals…   1. The top spot goes to West Woods which the majority of people named as their favourite. Situated just outside Marlborough near the village of Lockeridge it’s a beautiful plantation of beech trees on a former ancient woodland site and the bluebells are magnificent.  If you want to avoid the crowds Nordic Walking with Ashley have found some lovely ones on foot. Gopher Woods has some bluebells - on the walk from Knapp Hill to Oare.   2. Closer to the Dorset border and Tisbury? Try the Larmer Tree or Win Green near Ludwell is also good as well as Ashmore just over the border in Dorset.   3. On the Wiltshire / Oxon Border you’ll find Badbury Hill near picture perfect Coleshill with its secret Second World War history. Overlooking the Vale of the White Horse it’s an Iron Age fort with a stunning bluebell woodland.   4. Devizes locals love the bluebells that grow alongside white wild garlic at Wheelers Wood on the road between Sandy lane (with its well preserved thatch cottages) & Lacock. Erlestoke wood is also a favourite and Potterne wood.   The 32 acre Oakfrith Woodland in Urchfont dates back to the 18th Century and is one of the few remaining areas of significant woodland in the Pewsey Vale. In early spring bluebells cover the woodland floor.   5. If you live a little nearer Bath, Quarry Hill Woodland on Devizes Road in Box has some lovely displays.   6. Closer to Warminster the woods around Longleat are a must visit & if you head to Heaven’s Gate at the top of Prospect Hill you’ll see more while enjoying the views across the parkland of Longleat and Longleat House.   7. Malmesbury locals recommended Sommerford Common as a good spot. Go to Brinkworth and turn up Stoppers Hill towards Minety. It’s an extensive mixed woodland run by The Forestry Commission.    8. On the Wiltshire / Berkshire border the Littlecote grounds have lovely bluebells and a beautiful Roman mosaic and the remains of a Roman Villa, so get your history fix while you’re there.   9. It’s important not to forget our treasured National Trust Properties - Lacock & Stourhead both have displays of bluebells alongside other spectacular spring flowers.   10. Closer to Swindon are Ashen Copse in Wroughton & Pinkcombe wood in Hodson. Quidhampton Woods near Wroughton are on the slopes up to Bincknoll Castle, a hill fort overlooking Swindon. Take in the panoramic views while you get your fix of blue. There's also Hagbourne Copse right in the middle of Swindon.   11. Four years ago 7000 bluebell bulbs were planted by residents and the council in Milford Hollow near Laverstock in Salisbury so should still produce a beautiful display.   12. Around Calne & Chippenham Bowood House opens it’s Woodland Garden from 28th April where you can see Rhododendrons amongst the bluebells. Mortimers Wood is just south of Chippenham near Pewsham Way – a small area of ancient woodland with recorded history dating back over 800 years.   13. Jubilee Lake in Royal Wootton Bassett has lovely bluebells in its woodlands. Complete with children’s playground and tea rooms you can stay for a bite to eat or enjoy a picnic by the lake.    14. Grovely Wood in Great Wishford is the largest tract of private woodland in Southern Wiltshire straddling the Wyle and Nadder vallies. The carpet of bluebells are stunning.   TAKE NOTE: Hopefully it’ll be dry and the sun beating down but if not don’t forget your umbrella!   Got some more suggestions? Contact us on Twitter or Facebook or email us on hello@localuncovered.com and we’ll add them in.

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Favourite sledging spots

Sam Bertram

31 January 2019

Snow is here & a while ago we asked around for people’s favourite sledging spots.  Here’s the feedback.....   1. Cherhill Monument near Calne – watch out it can be very fast in places!  You can also see one of Wiltshire’s White Horses while you’re there.   2. Bradford on Avon golf course has been frequented by some mini thrill seekers.   3. The hill above Alton Barnes on the Pewsey Downs is not for the faint hearted. Hold on to your sledges.   4. Head to Heaven’s Gate at the top of Prospect Hill and enjoy the views across the parkland of Longleat and Longleat House before you jump on.   5. Closer to Swindon? Try Coate Water Park, Liddington Hill or the Lawns Woods in Old Town.   6. If you’re in Chippenham head to Monkton Park.   7. Locals love Treacle Bolley in Marlborough or try corner field off the London Road.   8. If you live near Salisbury Plain Widdington Motorcross field at Widdington Farm near Upavon gives a good ride.   9. Take in history while you sledge at Avebury.  Going between the stones can be terrifying but it’s easy to stop at the bottom of the hill.   10. In Malmesbury the place to go is The Worthies - near the entrance to Reeds Farm, opposite the Co-op and below the cricket club and another great spot opposite Willis Brothers at Cowbridge (on the B4042).   11. Bratton Alps is popular amongst locals. Go up Stradbrook into Imber Road for fantastic sledging.   12. TAKE NOTE: No sledging trip is complete without a cup of hot chocolate waiting at home at the end & be careful!   Got some more suggestions? We really want to hear about good sledging spots nearer Salisbury, Westbury & Tisbury area. Email us on hello@localuncovered.com and we’ll add them in.  

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Christmas recipes with a twist

Sam Bertram

6 November 2018

We spoke to The Wiltshire Liqueur Company’s Tiffinie Pride about her favourite recipes & cocktails using her liqueurs, and why we should be stocking up for Christmas. Why should we be buying your liqueurs? ‘They are incredibly versatile – they are great on their own but also brilliant as a basis for cocktails and in cooking. We have lots of cocktail and recipe ideas on our website - they’re perfect to keep drinks and food interesting through the festive season. My favourite cocktail is one I conceived after a hard day’s slog in the office. It’s still my go to drink after a long day.  ‘Damson in Distress’ has Damson Vodka, Ginger Ale and Ice and if I’m feeling flush I add a mint leaf. My favourite recipe is a bit summery but it’s just so delicious I have to share. At a fair someone once told me they mix Blood Orange with Olive Oil and mustard to make a salad dressing. We’ve eaten it with fresh peas, mozzarella and Parma ham and it is so yummy.  Perfect for dinner parties as a light starter. Craft is a bar in Greenwich in London that stock our liqueurs. They make a delicious cocktail called SE10 made up of our Wild Strawberry, Gin, honey and black pepper. It is amazing!’ What should we be cooking up for Christmas? ‘Christmas cake soaked in Blood Orange rather than brandy is so good. People are starting to make their Christmas cakes at this time of year so if you’re looking to do something different this could be the answer. You just feed your cake with Blood Orange in the same way you would with brandy. We’ve also got a great Nigel Slater recipe on the website.  Pheasant and Sloe Gin – really good and perfect with the shooting season upon us, and lots of winter entertaining to be done. On Christmas day serve any of our liqueurs with Champagne.  We have a name for every combination – Sloepagne, Damshame, Bloodyfizz & Chamberry. And it doesn’t just have to be Christmas day it could be Christmas Eve or Boxing Day or indeed any time you’re drinking during the festive season! Another Christmassy treat is Sloe Gin or Blood Orange chocolate truffles. Really yummy and they make great homemade presents to thank someone for their hospitality or serve with coffee. I’m thinking of having a gift box at fairs which has some small liqueur bottles and truffles. So if you see me at any fairs please do ask about them and tell me what you think.  Everything else is available to buy online so you can get it anytime and even better the price includes postage and packaging. There’s no excuse for not getting creative in the kitchen this season!’ And Christmas Gifts? ‘All our full size bottles can be ordered online and have personalised labels at no extra cost. We’ve had some funny requests for labels. The one that sticks in my mind the most is ‘Kevin loves pink ponies’. I didn’t like to delve too deep about what that was about! Most people put a name and there are lots of puns on the word sloe ‘for your Sloe investment’ or ‘Drink it Sloe-ly’.  Our gift packs of smaller bottles are only available at fairs. We can be found at Marlborough Feast of Food, Beaufort Hunt, Highclere Castle and a couple of school Christmas fairs like Pinewood and St Francis in Pewsey. Check our website to see where else we’ll be. Our liqueurs are also extremely popular for corporate gifts. You could give every employee a bottle with their name on the label – we’ve done that in the past and it went down a storm. Or give them to clients with your company name on the label or a cracking phrase to show your creativity! http://www.wiltshireliqueur.com/  

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